UN Report Paints Dark Picture of Climate Change Effects On World Economy - The Minute

Aug 28, 2014 4:45 PM ET
Multimedia with summary

A draft of a forthcoming United Nations report on the effects of climate change paints a dark future for the global economy. It finds that the failure to take action has made large-scale climatic shifts inevitable. These shifts will result in catastrophic weather events that will have severe effects on the global economy: slow economic growth, scarcity of resources, disruptions in supply chains, increased poverty, and general business uncertainty.

The draft report underlines the urgency of the risks from emissions of greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels. From 1970 to 2000, global emissions of GHG grew at a rate of 1.3 percent a year. From 2000 to 2010, that rate rose to 2.2 percent a year. So far this decade, that pace seems to be accelerating.

There were some bright spots in the report’s gloom and doom. Lowering emissions would slow the rate of change, allowing time to adapt to new social, environmental, and economic circumstances. Emissions are falling in Western countries, due to a focus on energy efficiency and the growth of renewable sources of power. And the draft report noted increasing efforts to address climate change at regional and local levels in many countries, despite the lack of national policies. The draft report was written by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and will be finalized in November. Here’s hoping for a global governmental response to take prompt, effective action.

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

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